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Lightning tops Predators

TAMPA — Brett Connolly continued an impressive training camp with two goals Thursday night in the Lightning's 5-1 victory over the Predators in a preseason game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Connolly, 21, the No. 6 overall pick of the 2010 draft, also had two goals during intrasquad scrimmages as he tries to make it back to the league after spending almost all last season with AHL Syracuse.

Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos and Richard Panik also scored for Tampa Bay (2-0-0), and D Victor Hedman had two assists.

G Riku Helenius stopped 15 of 15 shots. Cedrick Desjardins stopped 16 of 17 as Nashville had a 32-21 advantage, including 13-4 in the third period.

Connolly opened the scoring 5:42 into the first period when he rushed down the right wing and beat Predators G Carter Hutton after a deke to his backhand.

Palat made it 2-0 69 seconds later with his own deke after carrying the puck in from the blue line.

Stamkos made it 3-0 6:46 into the second period at the end of a terrific sequence he began by winning an offensive-zone faceoff to D Luke Witkowski, who sent the puck behind the goal line to Ryan Malone.

Malone passed in front to Stamkos, who rapped the puck past Hutton.

Connolly scored with 1:19 left in the second period with a zippy wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.

Desjardins gave away the shutout when his attempted backhand pass around the net went right to Matt Cullen, who scored shorthanded. Panik got the goal back when he redirected in Nikita Kucherov's shot/pass.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 overall draft pick in June, played again at center as coaches try to get the natural wing more touches with the puck.

"You want him to have the puck," coach Jon Cooper said. "Now we have to see how he is in the defensive zone. … Nothing is set in stone, but so far it's worked."

MEDICAL MATTERS: LW Henri Ikonen has not displayed concussion symptoms from a hit Wednesday by Blues D Jordan Leopold, Cooper said. Ikonen left the game on wobbly legs after he lost an edge and, as he fell, was hit by Leopold.

SCHEDULE: Because of tonight's Il Volo concert at the Times Forum, training camp moves to the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. Workouts, open to the public, begin at 8:55 a.m. … The Lightning will train at Germain Arena in Estero on Monday through Sept. 28. Only Wednesday's practice is open to the public.

Lightning 2 2 1 5
Predators 0 0 1 1

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Connolly 1 (Hedman), 5:41. 2, Tampa Bay, Palat 1, 6:51. PenaltiesWitkowski, TB (high-sticking), 15:44.

Second Period3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 1 (Malone, Witkowski), 6:44. 4, Tampa Bay, Connolly 2 (Hedman, Sustr), 18:41. PenaltiesWeber, Nas (tripping), 11:00; Weber, Nas (hooking), 16:50; Richard, TB (high-sticking), 16:50.

Third Period5, Nashville, Cullen 1, :46 (sh). 6, Tampa Bay, Panik 1 (Kucherov, Taormina), 2:03 (pp). PenaltiesFisher, Nas (tripping), :31; Cote, TB (elbowing), 5:52; Kucherov, TB (holding), 9:23; Tampa Bay bench, served by Walker (too many men), 11:38. Shots on GoalNashville 11-8-13—32. Tampa Bay 8-9-4—21. Power-play opportunitiesNashville 0 of 4; Tampa Bay 1 of 2. GoaliesNashville, Hutton 0-1-1 (17 shots-13 saves), Mazanec (0:00 third, 4-3). Tampa Bay, Helenius 1-0-0 (15-15), Desjardins (10:43 second, 17-16). A10,332 (19,204). T2:18. Referees—Francois St. Laurent, Jon McIsaac. LinesmenJonny Murray, Pierre Racicot.

Lightning tops Predators 09/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 11:25pm]
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